Matty Longstaff’s intentions to leave Newcastle United could culminate in a loan move to Championship side Derby County this summer.
According to the Chronicle, the Rams are keen on a loan move for the midfielder, who made only five Premier League appearances under Steve Bruce in 2020/21.
Longstaff has become frustrated with his lack of game time, and reports claim that he has made his intentions clear to the club.
Could a loan move suit both parties, then?
Is it a good potential move?
On the face of it, you have to say yes – it would be a good move for both parties.
Whilst Longstaff may well fancy a permanent move away from St. James’ Park, a loan move would give him a fresh start, albeit for a season, and would allow Newcastle to monitor his progress from afar.
Derby are also currently operating under a transfer embargo, and whilst that may well get resolved in the future, the signing of Longstaff would be allowed in this case, and would thus make sense.
Longstaff is a player who has shown glimpses of his ability in England’s top-flight. His two Premier League goals both came against Manchester United, and he impressed under Bruce in his breakthrough season in the first-team.
He has plenty of potential, and at the age of 21, Derby could reap the benefits in helping him progress and develop as a player.
Would he start?
Rooney has a big task on his hands this summer in regards to rebuilding his squad.
Their squad isn’t blessed with numbers as it is, and five loan players have now returned to their parent clubs after arriving in the winter window.
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With Scott Carson and Florian Jozefzoon expected to join Scott Malone in leaving at the end of their contracts, the club simply must recruit this summer.
The Rams lacked real presence in midfield following another devastating injury to Krystian Bielik, so there is scope to bring in a new central midfielder this summer.
If Longstaff were to arrive, then you could see him starting as a holding midfielder in Rooney’s preferred 4-2-3-1 set-up.
What does he offer?
It’s hard to really get a measure of what Longstaff would offer in a 46-game season, given that he only started four times in the Premier League last term.
The midfielder accrued a success rate of 86.5% from 141 passes, as per Wyscout, so he is clearly a player who is tidy on the ball and rarely wastes possession.
Longstaff won only half of his total duels in 2020/21, too (52.7%), so he is also effective from a defensive perspective.